PBA gets green light
GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra said the joint administrative order (JAO) that consists of all the rules and guidelines prepared by the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Sports Commission and GAB should be released tomorrow.
STAR/File
PBA gets green light
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - July 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra has practically assured the PBA and its 12 teams that they can resume practices next week.

Mitra said the joint administrative order (JAO) that consists of all the rules and guidelines prepared by the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and GAB should be released tomorrow.

It’s the only thing that’s keeping the PBA teams and those from the Philippine Football League (PFL) from returning to practices under strict health and safety protocols.

“Sigurado lalabas na yan by Monday,” said Mitra, who appeared as guest in the sports talk show The Chasedown via OnePH on Cignal yesterday. He said the JAO is only awaiting the signature of PSC chairman William Ramirez.

“They (PBA teams) can now schedule their practices. I have met with the teams. I’ve reminded them the dos and don’ts,” said Mitra.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said once the order comes out, the teams will undergo swab testing, eager to resume practice sessions with no scrimmages four months after the pandemic broke out.

The PBA teams were supposed to resume practices last Wednesday. But failure to secure the JAO had everybody stepping on the breaks.

“We just want to make sure everything is clear so we can avoid any misunderstanding and finger-pointing later on. We had to remind everybody that ignorance of the law is not an excuse,” he said.

“They can resume practice on Wednesday or Thursday,” said Mitra, who added that the country’s regulatory board for professional sports will soon release its verdict on the Blackwater issue.

Mitra said the GAB has accepted the apology of Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy for an unauthorized “team gathering” a couple of weeks ago, leading to a hefty P100,000 fine from the PBA.

Blackwater’s actions were considered a violation of the IATF guidelines in sports.

But Mitra said Blackwater is not totally off the hook yet.

“It could be a sweet warning or a fine of up to P100,000 from GAB. But we don’t want to go over what the PBA fined them,” said Mitra.

“That (verdict) will be out soon as well,” said the GAB chief, adding that a couple other leagues, including the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3, are seeking clearance to become professional leagues and be placed under the supervision of GAB.

Mitra did not identify the other leagues, which could be any or both of the country’s top volleyball leagues – the Philippine Superliga (PSL) and Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

“But it’s not the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League),” said Mitra.

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